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I Quit My Job and Moved to The Bahamas
When I told people I was moving to the Bahamas people automatically assumed that I had “made it” and that I would be living this glamorous life.
I want to preface this post by saying that living on the beach isn’t as glamorous as people think it is by default. In addition, where you live or where you move is what you make of it. Because there have been many a time here where I absolutely dreaded it. It may be sunny outside for most of the year and the water in the back yard is a fluorescent shade of sea foam green, but just because someone moves away, does not mean that life does not catch up with him or her.[bctt tweet=”@here you live or where you move is what you make of it.” username=”@flourish_ious”]
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My Expectations vs. Reality
I moved here in anticipation to hopefully find employment, which 8 months later has not come to fruition, not because of my lack of effort or qualification, but rather the employment system of the Bahamas, which is not easy for a foreigner to navigate or participate in. Read more about me here.
Related: 31 Things to Expect When Moving to the Bahamas
Upon my arrival, and prior, I immediately made contact with places of employment that interested me and unsurprisingly (because of my experience) I received swift responses. Although I fit the qualifications to garner employment, since I did not have a work permit, the employer would not and could not hire me.
I’m Qualified so Why Can’t I Work?
In order to get a work permit here, an employer who wishes to hire you has to submit paperwork to help you get the permit, yet in my experience to be considered one must have a work permit, to begin with. So let’s just say it was a huge circle.
And a few months ago I just accepted that I would not be getting a job here and would not be sponsoring my own work permit by paying $8.5K. So how do I spend my time? Everyone likes to assume that I don’t do anything all day or I’m just at the beach every day since I don’t “have a job”. But you know what they say about assuming…
After months of personal struggle trying to accept that this was my new life and situation, I refused to let it defeat me and delve back into my work and continued to make sure that I took the time to rest as well.
Prior to moving to the Bahamas, I had run myself into a deep exhaustion through having 12 plus hour days which included school, running my business, workout classes, and a social life. The Bahamas move may have been a blessing in disguise for me since now I was forced to take more time off and fully recuperate from the damage that I had subjected my mind and body to for nearly a year.
Related: The 45 Things you Must do When You Visit the Bahamas
Living abroad has helped expand my horizons in many ways, by learning a new culture, meeting and interacting with people who aren’t like me or what I’m used to, learning how to re-adapt, but most of all appreciate parts of life that I have previously taken for granted.
Here’s a list of things I miss:
- Amazon prime
- Getting mail
- Taking walks
- Walgreens, Target, CVS, Whole Foods, Trader Joes
- Having access to fresh food
- Seeing my friends
- Making local phone calls
- Fast internet
- Quality customer service
- Driving on the RIGHT side of the road 😉
- Quality beauty care like hair salons and nail salons
- My monthly subscriptions 🙁
- Chinese Food
- American sports (I missed football season, basketball season, and now baseball season).
- Bay Area swag and culture
Moving Abroad also shows you who cares and who doesn’t.
With so many digital ways to communicate with people these days, I honestly think there’s no excuse to lose touch with someone that you care about, other than that you just don’t care, which is fine. It’s so easy to send an email, text, and Facebook message to just say Hi. Once you’ve been abroad for a while you start to get less calls (if you got any to begin with), less texts and genuine messages showing concern for you. But you do get the occasional message from someone who all of a sudden wants to come visit you. In the end, you really see who your friends are and which family members really care about you.
The Expat life that you hear about, the wife or girlfriend who follows her significant other to pursue his or her dreams abroad doesn’t apply to everyone. I’m not like this country club wife who lunches and goes to the spa all the time. But trust me I know plenty of people thought that when I told them I was moving here. People loved to judge my life based on Instagram, claiming I have no worries because I live at the beach and #whatatoughlife.
Related: Ten Tips for Moving Abroad with Your Significant Other
But when it’s your reality, it’s not as dream-like as people think. It becomes normal. You have to pay your rent, manage finances, meet people, cook dinner, clean your apartment, have work deadlines etc.
Being out here has taught me a lot.
I haven’t always liked it, however, I have grown to appreciate and be grateful for the experiences that I’ve been having. Not many can say that they followed their heart and moved to another country at 26. But I did, and my life is richer for it.
The Story Doesn’t End Here Follow the Rest of My Expat Adventure:
My Reflection on One Year in the Bahamas
What It Was Like for Me to Move to London